If it wasn’t for that fact that I will have my own personal chauffer and someone to dress me up, I’d be late to my own funeral.
Whether it’s meeting friends for a movie or a movie, I am almost always running a tad bit behind scheduled plans. This “Tardy for the Party” mentality (if you get that joke, you, like me, watch way too much reality TV) extends to all reaches of my life. For instance, take asparagus season.
Asparagus season has been in full swing for quite some time now and somehow I am just now getting around to making a dish with what is my favorite veggie. I am not sure what took me so long to get around to it but let me tell you, this recipe for Ribbon Asparagus Tart is a great place to begin.
The other day I was watching the Martha Stewart Show (I actually watch that show more than I care to admit.) and I was knocked off of my seat and spurred into asparagus action. They were promoting the recently released book, Dinner at Home by Martha Stewart, by demonstrating a recipe for an asparagus tart.
It was a simple recipe pretty much only using puff pastry, asparagus and cheese. It was super simple. But what made the tart stand out to me was the presentation. The asparagus was made using a vegetable peeler to form a layer of asparagus ribbons. It gave the effect of a nest of interlocking green ribbons.
I was intrigued but guarded by the recipe. Last year I had attempted to use asparagus shavings for a salad. It was not very photogenic. To be honest it looked like a big mess.
With last year’s disaster still haunting me, I tried putting Martha’s asparagus tart on the back burner. But as much as I tried it just would not go away. I started thinking of how I would adapt it for my taste. I could pump up the creamy factor by adding a layer of ricotta cheese as the base. Then I thought torn pieces of prosciutto could add a bit of smokiness.
Then I thought about adding a bit of truffle oil (I mean everything tastes better with a little truffle oil, right?). And instead of shaving the entire asparagus, I would shave the stalks into ribbons but leave the tips whole for a visual pop.
As you can see, I couldn’t get this tart off of my mind. So I dove in and gave it a try. And I am so glad that I did. If you love asparagus, I think this tart will be an instant hit.
It’s a nice balance of flavor. The asparagus is not overcooked so they retain their true flavor. And the ricotta, truffle oil, prosciutto give the tart dimension and layers of flavor without over power the true star of this dish…the asparagus.
I hope you enjoy.
RIBBON ASPARAGUS TART
Adapted from Dinner at Home by Martha Stewart
- 12 medium asparagus spears
- 1 sheet (14 ounces) frozen puff pastry, thawed
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 large egg, well beaten
- 2 TSP truffle oil (I use truffle flavored extra-virgin olive oil)
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, room temperature and light whipped with a fork
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 slices of prosciutto
- 1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut off and discard tough ends off of the bottom of asparagus. Cut off asparagus tips and reserve. Shave the remaining asparagus stalks into thin strips using a vegetable peeler.
- In a medium saucepan, bring about 2 cups of water to a boil. Blanch asparagus tips in boiling water for two to three minutes. Remove asparagus tips and immediately submerge them in ice cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Meanwhile, roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface, just until creases are smooth. Trim dough to a 10-inch square. Lightly score a 1/2-inch border around dough (be careful not to cut through the dough). Brush off excess flour and transfer dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet (or a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking oil spray). Freeze 15 minutes.
- Brush border of dough with the beaten egg. Bake until puffed and starting to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, toss asparagus shavings and drained tips with the oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove tart shell from oven and press down on the center with a spatula.
- Spread an even layer of ricotta cheese on the tart shell. Than arrange asparagus on top.
- Bake until asparagus is crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese and prosciutto evenly on top. Bake until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack 5 minutes before slicing into squares.